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Journal > Volumes > 44 (2013) / 2 (Summer)
“Did the Pastor Buy You a Drink?” Religious Choice, Clerical Persuasion, and Confessional Elections in the Village of Goumoëns
James Blakeley
St. Joseph’s College

In 1575 the men in the village of Goumoëns-la-ville voted to abolish the Mass and establish Reformed Christianity as the sole creed in their village. Agreements between the ruling Orte, Bern and Fribourg, devolved the determination of the village’s religious adhesion to the residents themselves. For years, both creeds had coexisted in the village and this arrangement became the status quo that villagers upheld in a previous election. The evidence examined here reveals how rural clergy and residents, both Catholic and Reformed, negotiated religious change at a time when the ruling urban centers were hardening their confessional stances. It is argued that for the residents the choice was complex and involved more than religious sentiment alone. It demonstrates as well that a pragmatic coexistence had continued within the village that allowed residents to live in peace despite their confessional differences, until the vote.

Pages: 345 - 366